Sunday, 14 September 2008


The chicken part is great but what makes it superb is the polenta with blue cheese..... see below.

8 chicken pieces
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
3 large parsnips, coarsely chopped
 Tbl curry paste mixed with olive oil to thin...maybe 50ml....more or less
1Tbl fennel seeds
a large handful of olives
1/2 preserved lemon / lime
1/2 fresh lemon, thinly sliced then chopped
1/4 cup verjuice
a handful of coriander,chopped

Preheat oven to 180
Put a bit of oil into a baking dish and lay the vegetables over in one layer, turn in the oil.
Combine the chicken pieces, fennel seeds, curry paste mixture and lemons in a bowl and turn them in to coat. 
Place the chicken and all the bits on top of the vegetables in the baking dish in one layer.
Dust with paprika and turn it all in together after 40 minutes.
Bake about 1 hour total.
Just before serving mix in verjuice, pepper and coriander leaves.

1.5 cups polenta : 1.5 litres cold water
To cook polenta with no lumps it is dead easy if you add the polenta to cold water with 1 tsp salt, then heat moderately quickly before reducing the heat and allowing it to thicken. Towards the end of 30 mins. add lots of left-over bits of good, strong cheeses, which must include some blue. Anything and everything is good...not just good..... excellent! This comes from a lovely cookbook I have called "Pass the Polenta".

This is not a low fat meal! But my goodness, it is worth every gram!

Saturday, 16 August 2008


Chicken pieces, for this recipe I use about 6 - 8, or use more vegetables and less chicken
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 - 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger...or more if you like it as much as I do
1/2 cup mint or coriander leaves ,stems and roots
oil, I like peanut
1 tsp year I might be able to say fresh turmeric
1.5 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp or more of sweet chilli sauce
1/2 cup yoghurt mixed with 1 tsp flour
chopped potatoes and pumpkin if you like
1 sliced mango or other sweet fruit or some chutney
2 or more tomatoes, chopped
Other green veg for adding towards the end, like Asian greens or beetroot leaves or any chopped leaves really or maybe some snow peas etc

Fry gently in a large pot: onion, ginger coriander roots and stems for 5 minutes.
Add garlic, turmeric and other spices. Stir in the yoghurt and tomatoes and fry to a thick liquid.
Add the chicken and turn to coat - no need to brown. Add potatoes and pumpkin.
Make sure there is enough liquid to almost cover everything or add a bit of water.
Reduce heat, cover well and cook about 3/4 of an hour.
Stir in fruit and greens. Simmer another 15 minutes or so, while you cook the rice or whatever.
Sprinkle coriander leaves over when serving.

1 2/3 liquid : 1 basmati rice
Bring liquid to the boil, covered ( water, fruit juice, coconut milk, or just water)
Add rice, reduce heat, put paper towel over the saucepan then the lid and cook 15 minutes without disturbing

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted in the oven and coarsely ground
1 large apple, grated

Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
Beat yolks until light and frothy.
Stir in hazelnuts and apple.
Fold egg yolk mixture into beaten egg whites.

Put into a 7" or 8"tin and bake at 170C for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile bring to the boil: 1/4 cup espresso coffee, 1/4 cup water, 1/3 cup rapadura sugar, vanilla, 1 dsp butter.
Boil a couple of minutes then fold in some extra crushed hazelnuts. When cooked, remove cake from the tin and place on a plate. Pour the syrup over the hot cake.

Serve with plain yoghurt. Resist eating it all, if you can!

Monday, 23 June 2008


100g wholemeal flour

100g plain white flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbl oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

150ml water

Sift flours into bowl, add salt and oil and rub in until well mixed. Stir in cumin seed and gradually mix in water to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Rub with a little oil, cover and leave for 30 minutes.

Heat a grill to high. Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes. Divide into 12 balls and dust each with flour. Then roll out into a 5" disc or until very thin. Brush the griller with oil and lay a few of the puris on it and brush them well with oil. Grill a minute or so until well done. Turn, brush with oil and grill until done. Keep warm in the oven as you do the rest. They need to be well done or they will be soggy.

Friday, 13 June 2008


1 quantity Jean's shortcrust pastry
1/2 pound finely diced kangaroo / other tender, lean meat
1 each of potato, turnip / parsnip, carrot, all finely diced
1 Tbl parsley
1 tsp salt

Follow assembly directions given in the pastry recipe below.

Bake 200C 10 minutes. Reduce to 180C 10 minutes. reduce to 160C about 40 minutes, covering with foil to avoid burning. if you don't cook it long enough the vegetables will be crunchy.


These are old recipes and all the measurements are imperial. Good luck!

4.5 ozs self-raising flour
1.5 ozs plain flour
pinch of salt
3 ozs butter
Add with a knife to form a stiff dough
1 tspn lemon juice
1 beaten egg yolk
A little cold water
For sweet pastry add 2 tsp sugar

Lightly flour a board or the bench. Roll out thinly. Use a bit more than half to line the pie tin. Tip in filling, dampen edge with water and lay top over. Press to seal. Prick top. Decorate with left over pastry cut into shapes. Glaze.

For sweet pastry - brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar
For savoury pastry - brush with egg yolk or milk.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Harvest Stew with Fresh Herbs & Dumplings

This is a recipe from Inanna, who kindly copied this whole thing into a comment box after my post on Deb's turnips.

*1 c. pear nectar
*1 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
*1 T Dijon mustard
*3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
*1 tsp salt
*Freshly ground pepper
*1 small (1 lb) butternut squash, peeled & cu into 1-inch chunks
*3 small turnips, peeled and quartered
*2 carrots, peeled and sliced
*2 zucchini, sliced
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1/2 tart apple, cored, peeled & grated
*6 garlic cloves, chopped

DUMPLINGS *1 c. all-purpose flour*
2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
*2 T unsalted butter, melted
*1 T chopped scallions

DIRECTIONS *Whisk together pear nectar, broth, mustard, 2 tsp thyme, ½ tsp salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Add the squash, turnips, carrots, zucchini, onion, apple and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered until the veggies are just tender (about 15 minutes).*Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder and remaining ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Combine the buttermilk and butter in another bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the mixture forms a soft dough. Stir in the scallions and remaining 1 tsp of thyme.*Drop the dough by 6 heaping tablespoons onto the simmering stew. Simmer the stew, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then cover and cook until the dumplings are firm (about 10 minutes more).

Friday, 16 May 2008


2kg jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 - 3 cloves garlic, chopped
large handful of parsley, chopped

Break or cut the artichokes into walnut-sized pieces and peel, putting into acidulated water to stop them going brown. (It is tedious to peel these knobbly things and really, next time I would just scrub them well instead).

Heat plenty of olive oil in 2 pans and put the artichokes into them in a single layer. Add a good knob of butter and when melted turn the artichokes over in it, roughly. Put on the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue frying until beginning to turn golden all over (about another 10 minutes). Eat one - it should be soft inside like a potato. Throw in garlic and parsley just before serving. Don't eat too many or you will know about it in the middle of the night!

Saturday, 10 May 2008


I can't believe I forgot to take a photo. Oh looks like...a lemon tart!

Grease a shallow 25cm pie dish. Turn oven to 200C.

4 eggs
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup (or less) sugar
1 cup coconut
125g melted butter
1 cup yoghurt
3/4 cup milk
grated rind 2 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice

Whisk eggs. Gradually whisk in the flour then the rest of the ingredients, until well combined.
Pour into pie dish. Bake about 40 minutes or until set and slightly coloured.
Serve warm or cold with cream or yoghurt.

Serves 6

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


This is best served cold from the freezer, neat or over ice.
1500ml alcohol (strongest you can get) I used vodka, Deb said Grappa is good too
15 large, thick-skinned lemons
750ml rain water
3/4 - 1 kg sugar
  1. Put alcohol into a large jar
  2. Clean lemons, dry and then, using a lemon peeler, peel the lemons - making sure you don't get any pith. Make the pieces as large as possible
  3. Put the peels into the jar with the alcohol and stir gently. Make sure lemon is covered.
  4. Cover tightly and put into a cool, dark place to infuse
  5. On days 8, 22 and 36 gently shake or stir and return to cool, dark place
  6. On day 45 dissolve sugar in water and boil 5 mins. Cool as it needs to be cold to add to lemons
  7. Gently scoop out the peels with a slotted spoon
  8. Filter liquid thru' a coffee filter. Repeat if not clear
  9. Into a clean jar place the filtered alcohol and the sugar syrup to taste (don't taste too much!) and leave for 40 days.
  10. Filter again thru' coffee filter
  11. Bottle and seal well. Enjoy.

Sunday, 9 March 2008


I love mussels and they are so cheap. ($6.90 / kg at Angelakis in the central market).
1 kg mussels in shells serves 2 - 3 people. To serve more I buy some mussel meat, rather than more in shells or you get too big a volume to cook in a pan.


2 Tbl peanut oil
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
1 Tbl Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup white wine
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbl fish sauce
2 Tbl fresh lime juice
2 Tbl chopped corinader stems
1 kg mussels, de-bearded

2Tbl chopped coriander leaves
4 Tbl chopped Thai basil leaves/ Vietnamese mint leaves / laksa herb leaves

Into a large pan put the first 8 ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir to combine. Add mussels, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes or until all the shells are open. Add the herbs to the liquid and cover for 1 minute more. Serve on rice or (I prefer) organic buckwheat noodles, so it is almost like a soup.


1/2 jar tasty pasta sauce (bought is fine!)
3/4 cup white wine
chilli powder or fresh to taste
1 kg mussels, de-bearded
spaghetti / fettuccine
olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley / other suitable herb

Cook pasta, drain, tossin the oil and parsley.
Meanwhile, place pasta sauce, white wine and chilli in a large pan and bring to the boil.
Add mussels, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until shells are all open.
Serve pasta, top with mussels and liquid. Don't forget to wear a red shirt while eating!


1 kg mussels
2Tbl butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 small stalk of celery, chopped
2/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup cream
1/3 cup yoghurt
chopped parsley

Melt butter in a large pan. Add onion, celery, pepper, wine and mussels. Cover and simmer 5 minutes until the shells are open. Remove mussels from the pan and reduce liqid to 1/2 cup.
Remove from heat and stir in cream, yoghurt and parsley. May reheat gently but do not boil.
Serve with rice or other.

Thursday, 28 February 2008


I made this version the other night and it was fabulous.

serves 4

500g mixed seafood
1Tbl (or less) Thai red curry paste (original recipe said laksa paste)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup water
200ml coconut milk / cream
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
150g organic Jap buckwheat noodles
2 bok choy, roughly chopped
2 large spring onions, thinly sliced
3 or 4 sprigs laksa herb
1 bunch coriander, roots chopped and leaves chopped

Cook the curry paste briefly in a hot pan then add seafood, stock, water, coriander roots, lime leaves and coconut. Bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered a few minutes, until seafood is just cooked.
Meanwhile cook noodles according to packet instructions.
Stir into seafood : bokchoy, laksa herb, spring onion and coriander leaves and cook, uncovered until bok choy is just wilted.
Divide noodles between bowls and top with laksa mixture.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


6-8 large red capsicums
600-700ml white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
about 300ml olive oil

Cut capsicums in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Grill the capsicums until skins are charred. Peel.

Put the vinegar into a pan and bring to the boil. Place the capsicums into the hot vinegar, cover, return quickly to the boil and boil 1 minute.This may need to be done in a couple of batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and spread out to dry.

Pack the capsicums into clean, dry jars, inserting the bay leaves and covering with oil as you go, making sure there are no air bubbles. You get a lot of capsicums into 1 jar so I use smallish jars.

Put the lid on the jars and leave in a cool, dark, dry place for at least 2 - 3 weeks before eating. They should last at least 1 year but I am sure you will eat them sooner.

Monday, 18 February 2008


I cooked this beautiful soup after reading the recipe on Mas du Diable. It is a much needed alternative to regular pumpkin soup for those of us who have lots of pumpkins to eat!

500g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 - 1.5 Tbl Thai Red Curry Paste (I used 1 tsp so it wasn't so hot)
1 large onion, sliced
500ml chicken stock
300ml cocnut milk
I also added :
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
3 sprigs Laksa herb(Vietnamese mint), chopped

Heat some oil in a large pan, add curry paste and onion and fry for a few minutes until the onion is translucent and the paste is giving off its aroma. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.
Lower heat, cover and simmer until pumpkin is soft.
Puree until smooth and add a little fish sauce, chili oil or lime juice

Friday, 1 February 2008


Here are the ways I bottle some of the summer fruit I gather. I love having it at hand all year for breakfasts or desserts. Some of them are special treats, some everyday foods.

**Nectarines (or figs or plums etc) in white wine syrup

This makes a wonderful dessert to eat throughout the year.

350gr sugar
2 strips of orange peel
700ml dry white wine
about 12 ripe but firm nectarines, (peeled) and halved, maybe more if they are very small

In a pan heat the sugar, peel and wine until sugar is dissolved. bring to a simmer and simmer gently 8 minutes.

Add the nectarines to the syrup and poach for 10 minutes until tender. I have written in my notes that this stage is not necessary with plums as they are softer.

Strain and pack the fruit into preserving jars. Boil the syrup for 1 minute, remove the peel and pour it into the jars. Add brandy to cover the fruit completely. It is really up to you how much wine : brandy you use, just try it and see. You may want to add a bit of water as well but I don't.

Bottle as normal (ie put the jars into the pan of water according to your instructions).

Store for at least 1 month before eating.

**Pears (or peaches etc) in Citrus Sauce

Juice of 1 lemon
Rind of 1 orange
1 tbl honey
1/2 cup water
Juice of 2 oranges (or 1 cup)
6 large pears

Combine all ingredients except pears in a medium saucepan and heat gently.

Peel and quarter the fruit.
Place them in the juice and cook gently 20 minutes or until tender but not completely soft. Omit this step for peaches.

Strain (or not), pack the fruit into the jars, seal and bottle as normal.

**Light syrup

This is fine for all fruit especially if you are going to be eating it for breakfast or using it in a recipe later.
For 8 1-litre jars dissolve 500g sugar or 1 cup of apple or pear juice concentrate in 2 litres (hot) water. Allow to cool to room temp before pouring it over the fruit in the jars.

This is approximate only. Even plain water will do but I have tried it and didn't like it much.

Pears stay pretty hard when bottled unless you cook them first, like in the recipe above. I think all other fruit is fine raw.
**Bottled Tomatoes
I also make all our bottled tomatoes for the year. Just chop the tomatoes, put into a pan and heat gently until they release their juices.
At this point you can either bottle them right away or add salt, pepper, herbs etc. or boil them down a bit more. I just bottle them plain (but I mash them a bit with the bamix to break up the skins) . I put them in various sized jars.
I add herbs etc later when I am using them in a recipe. So quick and easy - no packing carefully into jars or adding extra liquid and all year they are there in the cupboard - better than buying tins from the supermarket.
If I have mountains of tomatoes I sometimes make a really yummy pasta sauce and bottle that too.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


This is a favourite of ours and all our families and even friends. I make loads of it - not that we eat that much but it is lovely to have lots to give away through the year. We never eat any other chutney now.

1 kg ripe peaches, peeled, stoned and sliced

250g dates, chopped

275g onions, chopped

500g sugar

125g crystallized ginger, sliced

250ml tarragon vinegar (or white vinegar and a bit of tarragon or other herb)

125ml malt vinegar

Mix all ingredients except the peaches in a large, heavy pot. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the peaches and continue cooking for about 20 mins more or until well blended and thickened (you may need to mash a little with a potato masher).

Makes about 5 jars of various sizes.